The Gujarat Lions, who have struggled to string a stretch of wins in the 2017 IPL so far, host the Kings XI Punjab in a home game at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot this afternoon. The Suresh Raina-led side had a good outing in the previous game against the Kolkata Knight Riders and will look to get another win on Sunday.
Here’s a possible line-up for them today:
Aaron Finch: The Australian got off to a good start in the last game against the Kolkata Knight Riders and will look to do the same in the upcoming match as well. He was employed in the middle-order in the earlier matches but clearly, it is at the top of the order where he can truly shine as a player.
Brendon McCullum: The best batsman for the franchise in the competition so far.McCullum has produced the goods at the top of the order for the Lions even though the eventual result has not yet gone in their favour at all times and he will need to carry this form on Sunday as well.
Suresh Raina(C): The man who played a captain’s innings on Friday will look to do the same on Sunday. This is a vital IPL for the 30-year-old if he hopes to regain his place in the Indian setup for the Champions Trophy and hopefully, he can string a run of consistent scores together in the coming games.
Dinesh Karthik(WK): The Indian wicket-keeper has been in the news for his good run of form in coloured clothing for whichever team that he has represented and he will need to shepherd the middle-order that does not too much experience.
Dwayne Smith: The floater in the present setup. Smith has been used both as an opener as well as a middle-order batsman by the team and he will hope that as the competition enters the business end, he gets a more settled role to play within the side.
Ishan Kishan: The youngster has been very impressive in some of the recent matches, even though he has not got the number of overs that he would like. In the last home game against the RCB, he provided some useful late hitting that reduced the deficit and he would hope to play a more substantial role in the future as well.
Ravindra Jadeja: The key man both with bat and ball. Raina will depend on the Saurashtra cricketer to provide him with the wickets in the middle overs against a Punjab line-up that has just David Miller in their top 6 and with a plethora of right-handers, he will look to exploit that. The IPL also provides him with a chance to work on his finishing skills,coming in a Number 7.
James Faulkner: The other key man in the lower-order for the Lions. The Australian, who did not find a name in the Champions Trophy squad that was announced last week, will have a thing or two to prove to the selectors and will look to use the IPL as a platform to show what their country will be missing at the event in June.
Praveen Kumar: Kumar has provided the side with a decent start in most games at the start of the innings and does not get spoken about a lot as far as his bowling is concerned. His death bowling is a place where the Lions can use him more.
Basil Thampi: The youngster, who impressed in the game against the RCB, but was brought back to reality on Friday, will look to make a bigger impression with the ball at home Sunday.
Munaf Patel: The lone change in the team. Patel may not be in the reckoning for a spot in the Indian team as of now, but that should not limit him from not doing well for the Lions in the IPL.